A ribbon cutting was held on the new Austell Youth Innovation Center at Legion Park. (Alan Lipsett)
AUSTELL, GA — The Austell Youth Innovation Center at 5530 Austell Powder Springs Road in Austell’s Legion Park, was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony April 30. Ollie B. Clemons, Jr., Mayor Pro-Tem, called the effort "a community collaborative." The new building is operated by the Austell City Collaborative which works to provide a more hopeful future for the next generation by bringing people and resources together.
"Our goal is to improve graduation rates," said Pamela Dingle, coordinator. The center is designed to provide youth in Austell with enrichment opportunities for growth toward a thriving future.
Enrichment camps run from late May through June with weeks devoted to energy, water, literacy skills, acting STEM and math.
A spring break camp this year was filled quickly. "We had no idea what to expect but the reaction from students was phenomenal with some 300 applications," Clemons said.
The ACC is also seeking sponsorships for enrichment camps throughout the summer. Donation levels range from $3,000 to sponsor a camp down to $100 to sponsor a registration.
The building was once the site of the Austell Senior Center which was destroyed by the 2009 flooding. It was repurposed for the youth and opened in September.
The city of Austell provided labor on the building with $80,000 in materials provided by the city, CDGB grants and SPLOST funding.